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Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour

star-4.5679 Reviews
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Chicago, United States
Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour
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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon1 hour 30 minutes  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 2 more

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

Overview

Step aboard a boat for a comprehensive cruise that details the history of Chicago's architecture. Enjoy views of the Chicago skyline accompanied by architecture-focused commentary that points out each of the landmark buildings. As you cruise through Lake Michigan, snap photos of you and your party against the stretch of Chicago's 26-mile shoreline.
  • Comprehensive architectural tour
  • Live commentary on Chicago's architectural gems
  • Travel by boat along the Lake Michigan shoreline
  • Buy tickets in advance for this must-do Chicago activity
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400 N Michigan Ave , 400 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60611, USA

The vessel departs and returns to Wendella's Michigan Avenue Docks located in the heart of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, at the base of the Wrigley Building. Look for the blue "Wendella" awning over the dock staircase. Descend the stairs to the river-level dock.

This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Weapons prohibited by US Coast Guard
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Outside alcohol is prohibited
  • All bags are subject to search
  • Increased sanitation and hand sanitizer stations
  • Arrive 15-30 Minutes prior to your departure time
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Contact tour operator for wheelchair & ADA access
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 300 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Wendella Tours & Cruises
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
Where do we meet for the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:We are located at 400 N Michigan Avenue at the historic Wrigley Building. Wendella has four dock locations that extend west from the Michigan Avenue (DuSable) Bridge to Wabash Avenue.
Apr 2021
Q:
Is there parking available for the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:There are two parking garages near the departure point: AMA Plaza parking at 401 N. State Street and InterPark Public Parking at 430 N. Rush St. (Parking fees apply at both locations.)
Apr 2021
Q:
Is the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour handicap accessible?
A:We operate 3 boats with wheelchair lifts between decks. All our boats can accommodate wheelchairs & have toilets that are ADA compliant. For guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, a written script of the narration is available at the ticket office.
Apr 2021
Q:
Can I bring my service animal with me on the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:A service animal is a dog that is trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. Pets and dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA and are not allowed.
Apr 2021
Q:
Are there restrooms available on board the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:Yes. Restrooms are located on the lower deck of each vessel; changing tables are also available in each restroom.
Apr 2021
Q:
How early should I arrive for the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:Boarding begins 15-30 minutes prior to the scheduled departure time.
Apr 2021
Q:
Does the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour operate in bad weather?
A:Our cruises depart rain or shine. Our vessels include sheltered areas and climate-controlled lounges. Ponchos are available for purchase onboard. However, in cases of severe weather where the cruise must be canceled, all guests will be refunded.
Apr 2021
Q:
Is the boat climate controlled during the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:Most of our vessels feature an enclosed climate-controlled lounge on the lower deck with speakers to hear the tour guide’s narration. If you have a concern about whether your vessel has an interior lounge, please call the phone number on your ticket.
Apr 2021
Q:
Is food/drink available during the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:A full-service bar is available onboard. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as an assortment of snacks, are available for purchase. Bar sales are credit cards only. No cash purchases.
Apr 2021
Q:
Can I store my luggage during the Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:There is no storage area on our dock, but guests may bring their luggage aboard keeping in mind it is subject to inspection.
Apr 2021
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour?
A:The policy on staff health & safety is:

  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Chicago Lake and River Architecture Tour.

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Traveler Tips


  • "This is an absolute must if you are coming to Chicago for the first time OR if you have been to Chicago many times but have never seen the beautiful cityscape from the lake." See review
  • "To see the city from the lake and river is a must.. Too much to miss out if you are not doing both." See review

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
679 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 679 reviews
star-5
Chicago River and Lake Michigan boat tour
Jack_L
, Jun 2022
One of the most memorable parts of our tour was Jack the gentleman who narrated the entire 90 minute tour. He was knowledgeable and entertaining and he was excellent at pointing out all of the things to see while we were motoring on the Chicago River as well as Lake Michigan.
star-5
Good visit -- informative but fun!
William_H
, Jun 2022
Our tour guide and our captain and crew were terrific. Tour guide probably does stand-up at night. Fun trip, informative, just wish we could have sailed to St. Louis!
star-5
The great experience
Vania_F
, Jun 2022
Amazing tour The experience was wonderful . The guide was awesome . I learned a lot even though I leave in the city for 15 years I realized that I don’t know much. I greatly recommend this tour
star-2
We paid for 90 minutes...
Fatma_A
, Jun 2022
We paid for 90 minutes for the tour but had to wait almost 45 minutes for docks to open. Spent 5 minutes at the lake and come back. It was a one time experience for us so it was not as I imagined.
star-5
Educational tour down aqua waters.
Amy_E
, Jun 2022
Loved learning about the water lock. Favorite is St. Regis. Guide gave us lots of information. Plenty of space on the boat.
star-5
Chicago lake and river architecture tour
Lieska_H
, Jun 2022
Highly recommend the tour 💙💙 💙💙 beautiful view , great information and the great atmosphere to share with family and friends .
star-5
Wonderful experience
Judith_B
, Jun 2022
Very interesting and informative. Joe our guide was amazing. A wealth of knowledge and charm. A wonderful way to send a sunny Sunday afternoon.
star-5
Loved this tour!
Katlyn_L
, Jun 2022
Loved this tour! Kenneth our tour guide was fantastic!! It got a bit breezy out on the lake, so make sure to dress appropriately, but was overall a fantastic experience.
star-5
Amazing experience
Shreyasi_P
, Jun 2022
It was a great experience! Really liked the view of the skyline from Lake Michigan. I would definitely recommend this tour
star-5
River tour
Heather_M
, Jun 2022
Great tour guide. Informational and beautiful tour. Great way to see the city and learn the history in a short time.
star-5
Chicago Bucket List must do!
Debbie_V
, Jun 2022
Great experience. Our tour guide, Kenneth, was amazing. So much fun, so knowledgeable. He interspersed trivia questions and passenger participation to get everyone engaged. You don't have to be an architecture buff to enjoy this tour.
star-5
Perfect cruise. Super narration!
Dorothy_O
, Jun 2022
The narrator/educator, Joe, was fabulous. He blended history, architecture, pop culture and more. To a person, all the staff was wonderful. The ship was clean and I felt safe at all times. Loved being on the Lake and the River. Next time I’m in Chicago, I will go again!
star-5
Well worth your time and money
Kathy_C
, Jun 2022
Beautiful city and beautiful weather. The tour guide was top notch in every way. She gave great history and pointed out the significance of all the sights along the way.
star-5
Amazing tour
ROBERT_B
, Jun 2022
Our tour speaker made the ride enjoyable. He was very knowledgeable and made sure we got some great shots
star-5
Great time - Viewing the City and its many wonderful buildings
Christina_A
, Jun 2022
We had an excellent guide on this tour and enjoyed learning about the city of Chicago and the different skylines and architecture. Well worth it.
star-5
Chicago river & lake GREAT
Harvey_M
, Jun 2022
Boat was conveniently located. Boarding process was simple. Tour narration was excellent: easy to hear and informative.
star-5
Bob gave us so many city...
Brett_Z
, Jun 2022
Bob gave us so many city facts and building IDs that we really felt the excitement and magnitude of Chicago.
star-5
We really enjoyed the...
Richard_Y
, Jun 2022
We really enjoyed the boat ride weather was perfect and seeing all the buildings in Chicago it a trip not to miss.
star-5
Great cruise
Gareth_J
, Jun 2022
Very good guide, great views from both the lake and the river. An excellent cruise and highly recommended
star-5
A must do in Chicago
Michele_C
, Jun 2022
The history, the views, the ride! Amazing! The skyline of Chicago is breathtaking. The women narrating was incredible! This is a must do in Chicago.

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